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ICC Note:

“Members of a Baptist Church from northern Turkmenistan had just arrived for a shared summer holiday in Avaza on the Caspian Sea when the local police officer, eight officials in civilian clothes and the imam… raided their accommodation,” Forum 18 News Service reports.

By Felix Corley

9/5/2011 Turkmenistan (Forum 18 News Service) – Members of a Baptist Church from northern Turkmenistan had just arrived for a shared summer holiday in Avaza on the Caspian Sea when the local police officer, eight officials in civilian clothes and the imam (who is also the state-appointed religious affairs official) raided their accommodation, Protestants told Forum 18 News Service. The officials and imam insulted and threatened the visitors over three days because of their faith and church members had to abandon their holiday. Meanwhile, none of the eight known religious prisoners of conscience (one Protestant and seven Jehovah’s Witnesses) is known to have been freed in the presidentially-decreed late August amnesty. Not freed was Protestant Pastor Ilmurad Nurliev, who has spent a year in custody on what church members say were trumped-up charges to punish him for leading his church. His wife is “so disappointed,” one of their friends told Forum 18. “She again sits at home and cries.”

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